Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:55 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:55:24 GMT
Deep in a mine shaft in the California desert, the body of a pregnant wife of a U.S. Marine was discovered after a search of nearly two months.More >>
A former Marine charged Tuesday with murder after the body of his alleged lover was found in an abandoned California mine shaft had been looking into how to dispose of a human body, a sheriff's investigator said.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:46 AM EDT2014-08-19 12:46:09 GMT
Twenty people have been rounded up in a month as part of a crackdown on drugs in Saluda County, according to the sheriff's office.Saluda County Sheriff John Perry said most of those arrested on chargesMore >>
Twenty people have been rounded up in a month as part of a crackdown on drugs in Saluda County, according to the sheriff's office.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
The police chief for Gulf Shores along Alabama's coast is weighing-in on the actions of the law enforcement commander in charge of Ferguson, Missouri's in the wake of an escalating crisis brought on byMore >>
Gulf Shores Police Chief Ed Delmore wrote a blistering open letter to Captain Ronald S. Johnson, who was given command of law enforcement operations following days of looting and rioting in the city.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-08-19 14:27:43 GMT
A Maine teenager's mug shot is going viral online after he decided to make a statement with what he wore. Robert Edward Burt, 19, was booked in the Somerset County Jail earlier this month, to performMore >>
Robert Edward Burt, 19, was booked in the Somerset County Jail earlier this month, to perform a sentence from an arrest earlier this year.More >>
TAYLORS, SC (FOX Carolina) -
A humanist organization sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Greenville County elementary school because of where they had their fifth-grade graduation and what was said during the ceremony.
According to the American Humanist Association, the graduation ceremony for Mountain View Elementary School was held on May 30 at a chapel on the campus of North Greenville University and included two prayers.
AHA said they received a complaint from a Mountain View parent about the ceremony, prompting them to send the letter to the Greenville County Schools superintendent and the school's principal.
"It has been made clear by the federal courts that events such as these violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state," said Monica Miller, an attorney and legal consultant with the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, in a release. "When a public school sponsors an event, it is the administration's responsibility to ensure separation of church and state is maintained."
AHA said the ceremony's schedule of events included the prayers and the location of the setting in a Christian worship space is a violation of the separation of church and state.
In the letter dated June 10, Miller states the school could face a federal lawsuit. The letter also states, "If you are interested in avoiding such litigation, please notify us in writing, within two weeks of the date of this letter, that you will no longer hold graduation or other school events in churches or include prayers as part of graduation ceremonies."
North Greenville President Jimmy Epting said the school makes the chapel available to Mountain View free of charge because it seats nearly 2,000 people and can accommodate all who want to come. He said the ceremony has been held there for years without any problems.
Epting said he feels AHA's targeting of the school district is part of a larger attack on Christian values in the Upstate from people outside of the community.
FOX Carolina spoke with fifth-grade student EmmaKate Edwards, who recited one of the prayers. EmmaKate's mother Kelly Edwards said her daughter wrote the prayer herself and was listed on the event's program as the closing prayer.
EmmaKate's parents said they were proud of their daughter. The prayer read as follows:
"Thank you for coming! Let us pray. Dear Lord thank you for this day and all your many blessings upon us. Lord bless each and everyone of our teachers, leaders and parents. Lead, guide and direct us as we begin this new adventure into middle school. We give you the praise for all our accomplishments. In Jesus name I pray. Amen."
Greenville County Schools spokesperson Oby Lyles released the following statement regarding the letter and complaint:
"We are in receipt of the letter and our attorney is looking into the matter and will prepare a response about this specific situation to the organization.
"Principals are provided in-service and information regarding the Establishment Clause and the need to ensure that school activities do not advance, prefer, or promote religion. Through those efforts, we strive to balance the Establishment Clause with the protected ability for individuals to express private religious speech. For example, a school should not endorse the use of prayer by students at any school-sponsored event. The district will continue to monitor school-sponsored programs to ensure compliance with the law and will take appropriate action if needed."
AHA said the parents who filed the complaint want to remain anonymous. Epting said the school is welcome back, but a decision would have to be made by the district.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Do you think Christianity is under attack in Upstate schools from groups outside the area?
Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:
Monday, August 18 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:58:47 GMT
One lane of the interstate has been reopened after it was shut down due to a deadly crash early Monday morning. The South Carolina Highway Patrol reports the collision happened around 3:21 a.m. on theMore >>
One person is dead and five others were injured when a tire blew on the vehicle they were riding in early Monday morning on Interstate 26.
Monday, August 18 2014 4:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 20:39:10 GMT
A home was badly damaged in a fire on Quail Rd Sunday. (Source: Beth Baldauf)
A home is likely a total loss after a fire swept through most of the structure Sunday afternoon. Crews were called to a home on Quail Lane near Trenholm Rd and found the home engulfed in flames. No injuriesMore >>
A home is likely a total loss after a fire swept through most of the structure Sunday afternoon. More >>
Sunday, August 17 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-08-18 00:10:48 GMT
Forrest Wood Cup weigh-in Sunday. (Source: Tom Round)
It was a big pay day for Anthony Gagliardi Sunday. The Prosperity native took home the $500,000 grand prize in the Forrest Wood Cup held in Columbia. Anglers from across the nation headed to Lake MurrayMore >>
It was a big pay day for Anthony Gagliardi Sunday.More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:55:40 GMT
You may not have heard of Morgan Reeves or seen any of his election ads on television. That's because the state gubernatorial candidate doesn't have any and he doesn't have any campaign contributions.More >>
Independent candidate Morgan Reeves is looking to level the playing field when it comes to campaigning for elections. More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 11:53 PM EDT2014-08-20 03:53:16 GMT
For many businesspeople like real estate Jennifer Harding, Fort Jackson is worth fighting for. A loss of jobs on the Army post would have an especially drastic impact on her business."It means a loss ofMore >>
The loss of 3,100 Fort Jackson personnel could have a heavy affect on businesses around the Army post. More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:30:17 GMT
A slow speed chase in Kershaw County by a 92-year-old man raised a question of how old is too old to drive. The call came in near dusk in Kershaw County. "A reckless driver headed east on I-20 towardsMore >>
A slow speed chase in Kershaw County by a 92-year-old man raised a question of how old is too old to drive. More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:52:08 GMT
The suspect wanted for shooting into an occupied Sumter home has turned himself in. Terrance D. Haynesworth, 32, was wanted by the Sumter Police for a shooting that took place on Sampson Street on MondayMore >>
Terrance D. Haynesworth turned himself after being wanted for a shooting on Sampson Street. More >>
Tuesday, August 19 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-08-20 01:29:29 GMT
The Columbia City Council approved a $2.2 million contract with a Kansas City, Missouri firm to design the ballbark at the Bull Street development.Council member Moe Baddourah was the lone "no" vote. CouncilMore >>
The Columbia City Council approved a $2.2 million contract with a Kansas City, Missouri firm to design the ballbark at the Bull Street development.More >>